Aer Lingus and British Airways owner IAG said today it had changed the composition of its board to ensure a majority of independent EU non-executive directors following Brexit. 

IAG's said the changes will ensure that its EU licensed airlines continue to comply with EU ownership and control rules after the UK leaves the European Union.

The airline group said the "remedial" plans were approved by national regulators in Spain and Ireland and, as required, the EU has been notified about them. 

The plans include the implementation of a national ownership structure for Aer Lingus and changes to the group's long-standing national ownership structure in Spain. 

The composition of the IAG Board of Directors has been changed so that it has a majority of independent EU non-executive directors. 

Deborah Kerr, María Fernanda Mejía and Steve Gunning have stepped down from the board and Peggy Bruzelius, Eva Castillo Sanz and Heather Ann McSharry have joined it, all with immediate effect. 

IAG said that Steve Gunning's executive functions as Chief Financial Officer remain unchanged. 

As previously announced, IAG's Chairman Antonio Vázquez is due to retire in January and at that time the IAG Board will be reduced in size to 11 directors.

IAG chairman Antonio Vázquez said it was disappointing that it has become necessary to make these changes to the board. 

"However, we are pleased that the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement recognises the potential benefits of further liberalisation of airline ownership and control because we believe that it is in the best interests of the industry and consumers," he added.

AIG also said today that British Airways had received funding of £2 billion for a five-year term loan, which is partially guaranteed by UK Export Finance. 

UKEF is the UK's export credit agency and provides the Export Development Guarantee to support the working capital and capital expenditure needs of UK exporters that meet certain criteria.

BA, which is slashing thousands of jobs as it battles to survive fallout from the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, also currently faces industrial action in a pay dispute with cargo workers at London's Heathrow airport.

IAG said the proceeds from the UKEF facility will be used to enhance liquidity and provide British Airways with the operational and strategic flexibility to take advantage of a partial recovery in demand for air travel in 2021 as Covid-19 vaccines are distributed worldwide.

"IAG continues to have strong liquidity with cash and undrawn facilities of €8 billion as at 30 November, excluding the UKEF facility," the airline said.